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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:03 AM
Original message
Japanese PM apologises over war
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has reiterated his country's "deep remorse" over its colonial aggression in Asia.

The speech at the Asia-Africa summit comes amid tensions over the approval by Tokyo of school textbooks which China says gloss over Japan's record.

Mr Koizumi later said he hoped to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday - although Beijing has yet to agree.

Leaders from 80 nations are attending the two-day summit in Indonesia.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4471495.stm

This is the lead story on the BBC World NEws
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. So when will * apologize about his war?
:grr:
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Hell, his war isn't even over yet!
Or should I say, wars
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. Too little too late, now if the textbooks were rewritten and
Japanese educators teach about what the Japanese did during WWII (like the Germans taught), then the apology may have some teeth. Oh! And pay the Korean "Comfort Women" while you at it. I've known people from Japan who know nothing about the atrocities of Nanking, Japanese POW mistreatment, etc. It drives me crazy.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Good point about needing to teach what really happened
Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 08:13 AM by ClarkUSA
as a way of never forgetting. If the Germans did it, then the Japanese should take the German approach as an example.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yet again.
Are the Japanese abject and sufficiently engaged in self-abasement to acknowledge Middle Kingdom supremacy? Is Chinese official honor and the CP's political ends met?

I'd guess not. It'll get damned by faint praise in the Chinese media, the message clear to the Chinese readership--not sincere, not intended, but we have scored a partial victory. We'll let in pass, in our superior humility, since the world has noted this.

It'll get great praise in the Western media ... as did the last first, groundbreaking Japanese apology, the one before that, and the one before that ... until China points out that it's not sufficient for some reason. Any possible insufficiencies will be noted, however slight or probably accidental over the next few months; they will, in the true spirit of ill will pervading political discourse, eventually be taken as intentional insufficiencies. The apology will be largely forgotten, and nobody will have ever said it was really an apology, no matter what text databases say.

Making its way into academia, the apology will be deconstructed, to show that actually there are interstices of meaning that may be interpreted as denying the surface message, and therefore objectively must be interpreted as denying the surface message; silence of some subject that must mean approval of assorted atrocities, thus making the overt apology into not just a non-apology, but an actual provocation.

And the "demands for apology as political tool" will be honed, oiled, and set aside for another use another day; maybe by China, maybe by somebody else.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Give it a chance - this is not just politics, there's some real pain here
Japan has never admitted any of its Nazi-Axis behavior much less expressed real regret over it as the Germans have. This may be the start of some much-needed healing. Just imagine if the Germans had done what the Japanese have done these past 60 years and acted as if the Holocaust had never happened.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Exactly,. I think people are too quick to gloss this over because
of the Chinese government's less-than-stellar actions. There are still people alive who suffered horribly. China definitely experienced a holocaust at Japanese hands, and the lack of official remorse by the Japanese government has been a continual slap in the face to WWII's survivors. Not teaching what really happened -- or worse, making it sound like it was a GOOD thing they did for China -- is a punch in the face after the slap. I think the rise of RW Nationalism in Japan is directly related to people not being educated about this.

Good point re: the Germans.

As aside: a friend who taught in Japan for two years was once verbally accosted at the Hiroshima Museum. He told the crowd he agreed the atom bomb was bad, but wanted to know when the Japanese government would educate its citizens about Manchuria as much as they had about the US bombing them. They just ignored him.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. Yes, I've noticed the tendency to compare apples-and-oranges
and ignore decades-old historical context as a way to displace anger at China's present policies. More people need to read up on this in order to fully understand the deep pain that exists to this day. All well-said on your account and a big :thumbsup: for your friend.

Japan needs to follow in Germany's footsteps. Generic vague apologies are a good first step but more needs to be done. Fixing those school textbooks and not paying homage to WWII war criminals' memorial shrines would be positive actiontowards healing the deep rift that is never far below the surface
of Snio-Japanese relations.
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twenty4blackbirds Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. The message needs to be kept out there.
In that period, Japan committed atrocities. In this period, Japan has expressed deep remorse for past behaviour in Asia.

Japanese should be aware of their history. Chinese should be aware of the series of apologies. All should be educated enough to interpret the nuances of each act.

Not that they will be. The media or the government will tell them the interpretation.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Welcome to DU
:toast:

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twenty4blackbirds Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Glad to be here
Thanks :-)
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. Unfortunately, the government isn't educating them
Japanese textbooks have always glossed over it, and now new revisions have made the situation worse. Plus, Japan has never paid any repartations to any Chinese citizen, or Korean "Comfort Women."

Welcome to DU!
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aneerkoinos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. Political tool
Yes indeed. Of course, the sentiments of hundreds of millions of Chinese are genuine, as is the need and/or will of Koizumi to play to the most nationalistic right wing part of Japanese electorate. And a formal apology don't equal Japanese society genuinly coming in terms with it's horrible history.

But the real beef is politics of today, not history. Taiwan, oil and NG related territorial issues, UN, trade policies, which one of the two power-houses is the King of Asia are the real issues behind this shadow-boxing. And in this area China has now better hand. Japan has become during Koizumi increasingly a proxy-state of US, and especially Bank of Japan a proxy of Federal Reserve. Japan has few if any real allies close by except US, China has many, as the primus motor of the AFTA. Most importantly, Japanese economy is becoming more and more dependent on China (China now number 1 trade partner, US second), while it's relative importance to China has been dropping (China's trade partners are 1st EU, 2nd US and third Japan).

So I don't think this apology will change much. My guess is that China sees that now it has good chance of affecting on a short to medium term a regime change in Japan (from LibDems to Socialists), and forcing Japan to become more independent from US and more receptive to Chinese interests. If China succeeds in this, it will be a major blow to US interests in Pacific, perhaps even fatal to US economy, if it means that Bank of Japan stops supporting dollar and US dept. Final prize for China, waiting in the horizon, is of course Taiwan.
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twenty4blackbirds Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Freedom to think, then information to think about...
Over One Million Withdrawals, Calls for Dismissing the Chinese Communist Party

One-Half Million Withdraw in Less than One Month
By Zhang Yihe
The Epoch Times
Apr 22, 2005

On March 27, the total number of withdrawals from the Communist Party, Youth League and Young Pioneers exceeded half a million. In less than one month, another half a million have now withdrawn from the CCP. By April 21, the total number of people who have declared their withdrawals from the CCP, China Youth League and Young Pioneers on the Epoch Times website (http://tuidang.dajiyuan.com/) had exceeded one million. The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party published by The Epoch Times last November has directly caused this wave of withdrawals.

Full article in english:
http://english.epochtimes.com/news/5-4-22/28070.html


It's a start. I hope it continues.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. China will someday lose its Communist trappings
Edited on Fri Apr-22-05 12:30 PM by ClarkUSA
but it will take time. This type of exodus from the Communist Party will not stop. I expect a socialist democratic parliamentary system will take its place within a century, not unlike that of most EU countries. 100 years is nothing in the history of the oldest nation-state in the world.
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. If anything, they're trending quite fascist
You would NOT like what a popular election in China would produce. It will not be a liberal Western-type democracy.
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Durant Donating Member (25 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
13. Makes you wonder if Chinese textbooks..
contain references to the people murdered in the Cultural Revolution or the millions slaughtered by Mao and his henchmen during his reign of terror. Or how much the people of Tibet <what few Tibetans there are> love the Chinese occupation of their homeland. Somehow I doubt it...
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. Apples and oranges distraction again. This is about WWII history.
Do we judge Israeli policy now when analyzing what Jews had to suffer during WWII under the Germans? Japan brutalized Asia as much as the Germans brutalized Europe during WWII. Japan may want to get a clue and emulate the Germans post-war, too.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-22-05 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. As ClarkUSA said up thread, it's apples-and-oranges
The lack of the Chinese government properly teaching its own history doesn't excuse the attitude of the Japanese government for the last half century. And, Japan doesn't have a dictatorial government. Hopefully, some day the situation in Chinese will improve.
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